Albert Dock Liverpool enjoyed a bountiful Christmas with visitor figures for December showing a 23% uplift on the same period in 2013.
A program of free, festive animation and illuminations, coupled with a major infrastructure investment throughout the year, helped the Grade I Listed attraction end 2014 with a bang and maintain its status as being the North West’s most visited free tourist attraction.
Throughout December the Dock presented a programme of free, family entertainment, including tradi-tional choirs, jugglers and roast chestnut sellers. Tate Liverpool’s exhibition – Transmitting Andy Warhol (showing until February 8) – continued to see bumper visitor figures. While nightly illuminations made the Dock a magical place to visit during the festivities. The Dock also joined forces with Marketing Liverpool on its Christmas by Liverpool campaign – a cross-sector partnership aimed at promoting the city’s Christmas offer.
Many of the Dock’s restaurants, bars and attractions also reported excellent figures for the same peri-od. Circo, for example, recorded their highest figures ever in December.
The good news caps off a year of huge investment at Albert Dock. Gower Street Estates, on behalf of Albert Dock Liverpool, delivered £85k worth of upgrades to the Dock’s car park system, introduced free wi-fi to all visitors in the outdoor pavilions, and new footfall counters – further demonstrating the attraction’s ongoing commitment in improving the overall visitor experience.
Peter Cronin, director of development and marketing for Albert Dock Liverpool, said:”Every Christmas we try to create a diverse and exciting programme of events for families to enjoy – so these figures are extremely positive news for Albert Dock Liverpool and an encouraging way to start 2015. It’s also a huge pat on the back for our restaurants, bars and shops, who work tirelessly to ensure that visitors and residents of Albert Dock have a memorable time at the Dock, throughout the whole year, which makes them want to come back again and again.
“We also continue to invest heavily in improving the Dock’s public spaces – with both our car parks and wi-fi infrastructure being upgraded during 2014 – the latter proving particularly challenging considering the sensitive approach required for a Grade I listed building. This means we are fully able to welcome cruise passengers, conference delegates and consumers alike, offering daily access to real time infor-mation. We strive to give our visitors the very best possible experience, and this appears to be paying off as we continue to attract such high footfall.”
The figures round off another hugely successful year for Albert Dock, which through 2014 hosted a number of hugely successful events, including the annual Liverpool Pirate Festival – its most successful to date, with visitor figures at the two-day event representing a 23% increase on the previous year’s festival – and the popular Red Bull Harbour Reach. The Dock also witnessed the arrival of two exciting new businesses, Magical Mystery Tour – (who after moving its central booking office to Anchor Courtyard in January 2014 saw ticket sales increase by 14% compared to 2013 during the first nine months) – and a Costa Coffee located on The Colonnades (Liverpool-based Optimum Group’s second shop based at Albert Dock).
Established attractions also enjoyed a successful and eventful 2014. The Beatles Story celebrated its most successful year since opening in 1990, while Merseyside Maritime Museum unveiled the Dazzle ship, as part of Liverpool Biennial, plus its new exhibition: Sail Away: Liverpool shipping posters, which were both big hits with visitors.
Peter added:”Events such as the Liverpool Pirate Festival and Red Bull Harbour Reach continue to grow in popularity every year, and when combined with the Dock’s outstanding cultural offer from Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Beatles Story, and the stunning waterfront setting, you have a very unique and special place to visit.
“Albert Dock is also the natural heart for waterfront animation like Giant Spectacular Memories of Au-gust 2014, the Mersey River Festival and Liverpool Biennial. We are committed to working in partner-ship with Liverpool City Council, Culture Liverpool and the wider Liverpool Waterfront Business Part-nership to create incredible events which generate huge economic impact on the city and create lasting memories for our visitors.”
Summer 2014 also witnessed the arrival of the pop-up Albert Dock Welcome Centre, which handled 25,145 enquiries during the three months it was open (June-August), showcasing the Dock’s many attractions, bars and restaurants to visitors and the thousands of national and international delegates who converged on the city for International Festival For Business.
For more information on all other upcoming events at Albert Dock, please visit www.albertdock.com.
Located on the city’s iconic World Heritage waterfront, Albert Dock has come a long way since being a figure of designer, Jessie Hartley’s imagination. From an industrial past to dereliction, to its revival in 1988, today the Dock is Liverpool’s most-visited free tourist attraction and a must-see destination for families, couples and large groups.
The scale of the area and range of attractions mean it can comfortably cater for group visitors, whether interested in culture, education or nightlife. There’s a host of world-class galleries, museums, land and water tours, restaurants and bars, hotels and shops – all set within the stunning architectural setting of the UK’s largest collection of Grade I listed buildings.
What can you find at Albert Dock?
Beatles Story, International Slavery Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Magical Mystery Tours, and Tate Liverpool.
BeeArtistic, Pride of Liverpool, Annabel’s Accessories, The Gift Company, Fab4Store, Impressions of Liverpool, Liverpool Pictures, Nature’s Treasure, Nauticalia, Quay Confectionery and With Love From Liverpool.
Holiday Inn Express and Premier Inn.
Parking spaces are available at Albert Dock and in the new Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool multi storey car park, which is open 24 hours a day.
Coach drop off and pick up is available at Albert Dock. Coach parking is situated a short distance away behind the impressive Echo Arena.
History of Albert Dock:
• Albert Dock was designed by Liverpool Dock Trustees’ surveyor Jesse Hartley and named af-ter Prince Albert. Work began in 1841 and it opened in 1846. The Dock’s warehouses stored valuable cargo from all over the world. Steamers, barges, brandy boats and corvettes (in World War II) all docked there.
• The Dock’s fortunes waned after WWII, and it closed in 1972. In 1983 The Albert Dock Com-pany Ltd and the Merseyside Development Corporation began to restore the site to its former glory, breathing new life into a rundown area. In 1988 Albert Dock was officially re-opened by HRH Prince Charles.
• From 1988-1996, Richard and Judy presented This Morning on Granada TV. Their studio looked out onto Albert Dock.
• The Dock has the largest group of Grade 1 listed buildings in Britain and is a World Heritage Site.